Following a series of social media campaigns that culminated in a protest by residents of Noida Sector 137, the forest area adjacent to the sector will no longer be used as a garbage dump. The 25-acre forest, in Sector 91, is bordered by sectors 92, 93B and 137.
Three months back, Noida Authority decided to level a low-lying area in the eastern corner of the forest. The Authority’s civil department was instructed to dump construction debris in the waterlogged area. But soon, a few private garbage collection companies, encouraged at the sight of the area being used as a landfill, started dumping garbage there.
The area was soon stinking to the high heavens, leaving passers-by and residents from societies in Sector 137 exasperated. Noida Authority took note of the problem only after a month of the protest held at the site. On Friday, September 30, it put up a signboard prohibiting garbage disposal in the area.
Residents are relieved by the signboard, but not yet satisfied. "The board does not mention any fine for dumping garbage in the area," said Nandini Srivastava, a resident of Paramount Floraville, Sector 137. "Why will anyone obey the rules if there is no fear of penalty?"
Residents met Saumya Srivastava, Deputy CEO of Noida Authority, last week and demanded a solution. They suggested the areas be barricaded to prohibit the entry of dumpers.
Following the meeting, Srivastava mobilised a team for installing the barricades.
YK Harish, sanitation inspector of Noida Authority, said, "If a dumper is caught in the area, it will be seized and fined Rs 20,000."
The new signboard, however, is yet to mention this.
We, at City Spidey, are frankly a little surprised by Noida Authority's enthusiasm to put in so much effort for levelling an area that could just as well have served as a natural watering hole for the resident animals.